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20 people from 8 countries become US citizens at Pocatello Courthouse


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POCATELLO — Twenty people in the Pocatello courthouse on Wednesday had their lives changed forever.

They just became American citizens, a holiday gift they’ll never forget. The citizenship candidates are originally from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Colombia, Hungary, Laos, Mexico, Philippines and Ukraine.

“I am proud to be an American citizen, and I’m so happy. I’m so excited,” said Habibullah Khan.

Local doctor Fahim Rahim looked upon the crowd of new Americans, and told them about the journey he took to become a citizen when he went through a similar ceremony 21 years ago.

Rahim spoke to let them hear from someone who has found success since taking the oath. And while hearing some of their stories afterwards, Rahim was reassured that while these people came from eight different countries, it’s still a small world.

“Imagine that – you were both born in a town in Peshawar, Pakistan, and now you’re meeting in a court in Pocatello, where he’s becoming a citizen of this country,” said Rahim.

Rahim had never met Khan before the ceremony, yet both of their journeys to citizenship started in a town in Peshawar, and have led them to Pocatello.

“Blessing and proud to be, I think it’s something that teaches me, have a hard life, and you did it, you know, you got it,” said Khan.

“That tells you what kind of bond this is, right? I mean that’s the beautiful bond. It’s not that just religion, nationality, or language that unites us, it’s an idea,” said Rahim.

A bond that, no matter where you’re from or where you’re going, will always make the world seem smaller than it is.